Tag Archives: humility

Washing

This is it!
Resonances clanging,
echoes chiming
in my heart and mind.

This is what Mary did,
so recently.

Poured out her all
in an offering.

She gave her everything,
now Jesus is giving his everything.

He,
God here among us,
King of all kings,
kneels
at our feet
and gently,
tenderly,
lovingly,
washes them.

Soothes them,
cleans them,
deals with the cuts and blisters,
gently pats them dry.

~~~

Our feet,
as wandering disciples
had been the tools of our trade,
what took us with him,
the sign of our following
and wanting to be with them.

He stoops
to bring refreshment,
healing,
the ability to go further.

How can I let him do this?
Surely I should be washing his feet,
showing my service to him.
But no,
he wants to tend me,
restore me,
refresh me.
To not let him
is to turn my back on him,
to all he offers me.

He wants me
to learn to tend others,
and like with everything else,
he shows me the way.
His way,
the on your knees way,
the not afraid of dirt way,
the not too great for this way.

Lord,
may I learn
and live
as a washer,
a kneeler,
a restorer
in you.

John 13:1-20 (CEV)

Jesus Washes the Feet of His Disciples

13 It was before Passover, and Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and to return to the Father. He had always loved his followers in this world, and he loved them to the very end.

Even before the evening meal started, the devil had made Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, decide to betray Jesus.

Jesus knew that he had come from God and would go back to God. He also knew that the Father had given him complete power. So during the meal Jesus got up, removed his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist. He put some water into a large bowl. Then he began washing his disciples’ feet and drying them with the towel he was wearing.

But when he came to Simon Peter, that disciple asked, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus answered, “You don’t really know what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“You will never wash my feet!” Peter replied.

“If I don’t wash you,” Jesus told him, “you don’t really belong to me.”

Peter said, “Lord, don’t wash just my feet. Wash my hands and my head.”

10 Jesus answered, “People who have bathed and are clean all over need to wash just their feet. And you, my disciples, are clean, except for one of you.”11 Jesus knew who would betray him. That is why he said, “except for one of you.”

12 After Jesus had washed his disciples’ feet and had put his outer garment back on, he sat down again. Then he said:

Do you understand what I have done? 13 You call me your teacher and Lord, and you should, because that is who I am. 14 And if your Lord and teacher has washed your feet, you should do the same for each other. 15 I have set the example, and you should do for each other exactly what I have done for you. 16 I tell you for certain that servants are not greater than their master, and messengers are not greater than the one who sent them. 17 You know these things, and God will bless you, if you do them.

18 I am not talking about all of you. I know the ones I have chosen. But what the Scriptures say must come true. And they say, “The man who ate with me has turned against me!” 19 I am telling you this before it all happens. Then when it does happen, you will believe who I am. 20 I tell you for certain that anyone who welcomes my messengers also welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.

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Life Poured Out v

Jesus Washes the Feet of His Disciples

13 It was before Passover, and Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and to return to the Father. He had always loved his followers in this world, and he loved them to the very end.

Even before the evening meal started, the devil had made Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, decide to betray Jesus.

Jesus knew that he had come from God and would go back to God. He also knew that the Father had given him complete power. So during the meal Jesus got up, removed his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist. He put some water into a large bowl. Then he began washing his disciples’ feet and drying them with the towel he was wearing.

But when he came to Simon Peter, that disciple asked, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus answered, “You don’t really know what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“You will never wash my feet!” Peter replied.

“If I don’t wash you,” Jesus told him, “you don’t really belong to me.”

Peter said, “Lord, don’t wash just my feet. Wash my hands and my head.”

10 Jesus answered, “People who have bathed and are clean all over need to wash just their feet. And you, my disciples, are clean, except for one of you.” 11 Jesus knew who would betray him. That is why he said, “except for one of you.”

12 After Jesus had washed his disciples’ feet and had put his outer garment back on, he sat down again. Then he said:

Do you understand what I have done? 13 You call me your teacher and Lord, and you should, because that is who I am.14 And if your Lord and teacher has washed your feet, you should do the same for each other. 15 I have set the example, and you should do for each other exactly what I have done for you. 16 I tell you for certain that servants are not greater than their master, and messengers are not greater than the one who sent them. 17 You know these things, and God will bless you, if you do them.

The New Command

31 After Judas had gone, Jesus said:

Now the Son of Man will be given glory, and he will bring glory to God. 32 Then, after God is given glory because of him, God will bring glory to him, and God will do it very soon.

33 My children, I will be with you for a little while longer. Then you will look for me, but you won’t find me. I tell you just as I told the people, “You cannot go where I am going.”34 But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. 35 If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.

A bowl
and a towel,
what is he doing?
That is the servants job.

A bowl
and a towel,
kneeling at our feet,
washing gently,
softly.

A bowl
and a towel,
removing the dirt,
ingrained from the journey;
the dust,
kicked up around us;
soothing,
cleansing.

A bowl
and a towel,
drying,
softly,
wiping the drops of water
in the same way
one would dry tears.
Gently,
dabbing,
comforting,
loving.

A bowl
and a towel,
restoring my feet
from the journey so far,
preparing them
for the journey to come.

A bowl
and a towel.
He ministers to me.
He doesn’t wait
for someone else to do it,
he doesn’t need me
to care for myself.
He kneels
and pours out his love for me.

A bowl
and a towel.
I thought I didn’t need it,
need him to do that
for me.
But I did.
I needed
his love,
his touch,
his care of me.
And he needed to do it.

A bowl
and a towel,
such love
poured in that bowl,
gently swabbing my aching body.
He did that for me.

Meekness and Majesty

A bowl
and a towel,
a symbol of how I should live,
in humility,
sacrifice,
service.
A life of giving,
doing,
soothing
and gently drying.

A bowl
and a towel,
Lord,
as I allow you to minister to me,
may I in turn
minister to others,
in your love,
through your life,
poured out
for each one of us.

True Worship

Worship is something that people can get very passionate about.  There can be a great enthusiasm to tell others how it should be done, often thinking our way is the only way.  I suppose it is something we are passionate about because it is so meaningful, which is a good thing – but, we need to remember that different people need different things, and so different worship styles are ok.  Just because someone is not doing it the way we like does not mean that they are wrong – honestly!  They just have different need and ways of expressing themselves.

However, what really does matter is what is behind that worship.  It is not what we do, but why we do it, and similarly to last week, it’s not what we say in worship that is important so much as how we behave out of it.

Isaiah 58:1-12 (CEV)

True Religion

58 Shout the message!
    Don’t hold back.
Say to my people Israel:
You’ve sinned! You’ve turned
    against the Lord.
Day after day, you worship him
and seem eager to learn
    his teachings.
You act like a nation
that wants to do right
    by obeying his laws.
You ask him about justice,
and say you enjoy
    worshiping the Lord.

You wonder why the Lord
    pays no attention
when you go without eating
    and act humble.
But on those same days
    that you give up eating,
you think only of yourselves
    and abuse your workers.
You even get angry
    and ready to fight.
No wonder God won’t listen
    to your prayers!

Do you think the Lord
    wants you to give up eating
and to act as humble
    as a bent-over bush?
Or to dress in sackcloth
    and sit in ashes?
Is this really what he wants
    on a day of worship?

I’ll tell you
what it really means
    to worship the Lord.
Remove the chains of prisoners
    who are chained unjustly.
Free those who are abused!
Share your food with everyone
    who is hungry;
share your home
    with the poor and homeless.
Give clothes to those in need;
don’t turn away your relatives.

Then your light will shine
like the dawning sun,
and you
    will quickly be healed.
Your honesty will protect you
    as you advance,
and the glory of the Lord
    will defend you from behind.
When you beg the Lord for help,
    he will answer, “Here I am!”

Don’t mistreat others
or falsely accuse them
    or say something cruel.
10 Give your food to the hungry
    and care for the homeless.
Then your light will shine
    in the dark;
your darkest hour will be
    like the noonday sun.

11 The Lord will always guide you
and provide good things to eat
    when you are in the desert.
He will make you healthy.
You will be like a garden
    that has plenty of water
or like a stream
    that never runs dry.
12 You will rebuild those houses
    left in ruins for years;
you will be known
as a builder and repairer
    of city walls and streets.

This is really quite an angry tirade.  God is not happy.

People claim they are worshipping God, they maybe even believe they are faithfully, but God knows otherwise and he is cross.

Oh yes, they look like they are doing all the right things, even asking all the right questions, and fasting; but, and it is a huge but to God, they are not following through on that.  Now I get really grumpy when I am hungry, but when they are fasting they are angry, and taking it out on everyone else.  They are claiming humility and piety, but failing to live it.  God doesn’t want worship to look good, but to be true and lived out.  How can they worship God in shouting at everyone around them?

No, to truly worship God is to work for justice, to bring freedom, to share what you have and to be a nice person to those around you.  God is not served by any other kind of behaviour, however good worship might look.

And that applies as much to me today as much as it did to those who God was so angry with in Isaiah’s time.  Our worship is meaningless unless it informs, challenges and effects our life every day.  For that is where worshipping God counts, in how it hits the ground in our everyday actions.

I Will Speak Out

Lord,
I am sorry
for the times
when My worship
has been about me,
how I look,
what I like,
and not about you;
for the times
when my worship has stayed in church
and not come with me
into my every day;
for when
I have made you angry
by my inconsistencies.

May my worship
Be such a part of my life
that it is lived every day,
in all I do.
Help me to speak out,
to stand up,
to live
for justice,
peace,
hope,
love
and truth
– beginning in me
and how I behave